Posts Tagged 'carrot'

carrot & walnut cupcakes…by snow

*i apologise. there was a delicious casualty…middle down, second row across. very unprofessional.* so it happened, i finally made a cupcake. in my defense, i was in difficult and extenuating circumstance. i never could really get my head around maths as a youth. i was described by a maths teacher as “despondent” and mainly “disruptive”. there are however some mathematical equations that add up, like –

this:

+ this:

= this:

snow was kind enough to give me a recipe. i was of course hesitant, fearing a return to another cwa-esque baking experience. i was seriously concerned about the use of oil instead of butter. i was concerned about the cream cheese in the frosting. but, fraught with anxiety though i was, i put all my eggs (which i dont like anyway) into snows rock solid basket and decided to march inexorably on. the end result was, if nothing else, a carrot and walnut cupcake. with cream cheese icing. after all, this is america. they were met with the very best responses any girl could hope for: “oh…what did you do to them?”. proceeding to then ice them, they were, in the final analysis, met with a face scrunched up in displeasure. i mean, i do understand. no one wants to see cream cheese going into icing. and nor should they have to. thats the kind of baking that should take place behind closed doors and eaters should only wonder what it was that went into the icing that made it so rich and creamy, never to be exposed to cold reality of philadelphia cream cheese. alack, there are no doors or walls in this open-plan kichen/studio/office/playground, and so he saw and he watched as i sheepishly dumped a block of cream cheese into an exquisite, harmonious pastel yellow mixture of butter and icing sugar. and thats when the previously unforseen reality of these cupcakes became abundantly clear. but i liked them. i guess with 20 cupcakes sitting on the bench, it would maybe be better if i didnt like them. but their nuttiness, and carotene goodness made me happy and wholesome and i rarely experience the latter. so try them. and theyre easy. in snow time, 30 minutes. in moon time an hour and a half. in people time between 30-60 minutes, beginning to end.

here it is:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup oil

beat together til sugar dissolves

add 3 eggs and as much vanilla as you feel you can get away with. mix til pale.

sift in:

1 1/3 cup flour

1 1/3tsp baking powder

1 1/3tsp baking soda

1 1/3tsp cinnamon

add wet to dry. then fold in 2 cups grated carrot and 1/2 cup walnuts or raisins or whatevs. put in oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. while thats going on, make the icing

225g butter

225g cream cheese

225g icing sugar

vanilla

zest of 1/2 a lemon

mix together and apply liberally to resultant cupcakes. unless your people dont like cream cheese. probably best not. even if they say ‘yum’. that means they are being polite.

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carrot, chicpea, rocket salad

what did i just say? something about no more dinner proper…or something. and yet i couldnt help myself. because of the disappointment and accusations that ensued but mainly on account of my stumbling upon some lovely unseasonal summer carrots, with all the colours of a strange rainbow. and i was drawn to them, like a hungry moth to the flame of a blow torch. once i had them in my cold little hands, what to do with them became the next pressing question. indecision is rife around here, so too self-doubt and a general sense of uncertainty. but come on, theyre just fucking carrots. so i looked in my overflowing, ill-designed pantry and i happened upon some chickpeas. carrots and chickpeas – cant go wrong. i had some garlic floating around (sounds ethereal…it was actually closer to approaching its expiry date..but i picked that little linguistic nugget up from my stories, what taught me all i know.) so i took my floating garlic, picked up some rocket, and decided to roast my carrots and throw it in with the rest. and so i did.

ingredients:

500g summer carrots

4 cloves garlic whole

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

few sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper

couple handfuls of rocket

can of chickpeas rinsed and drained

1/2 red onion finely chopped

couscous – to serve with if you feel it necessary

pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. prepare your carrots. this was unexpectedly laborious and caused a great deal of physical pain. these carrots are too little for peeling so they need a good scrub.

put them into a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. then lay them on a roasting tray. i put a little balsamic over the purple ones. maybe because they reminded me of beetroots. but it worked – they are a little rough and can be bitter…balsamic it helps them find their way to sweetness

they will need 20 minutes in the oven, after which time, take them out and turn them around. put them back for another ten minutes. then remove and set aside

then in a separate bowl – make your salad. throw in some rocket, the chickpeas and the onion. people seem to have an aversion to raw onion. i have developed something of a penchant for its intensity and its capacity to overwhelm. you can leave it out but the carrots are quite sweet, the chickpeas have a sort of mild stogy quality and the onion is quite sharp and lifts it right back up. give it some olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine. add your hot carrots – careful not to break them and and serve warm.

what was sexy in its origins – became kind of unappealing looking. it tasted delicious. but just so we dont have to end on a poo-brown note, may i remind you all of its aesthetic roots:

carrot, apple and walnut muffins

The muffins herewith are drawn, scavenger-like, from a number of muffins and muffin-related experiences of which I have been the fortunate (and, once in Agadir, not so fortunate) subject. In a secondary inspirational role is a small suite of muffin-centred dreams, dreams of muffins great and muffins good. Once upon an aimless day (are there other sorts of days? if so, where may I enquire further about them?) i happened upon a unique genre of muffin at baker d. chirico. In retrospect, I’m quite certain Fitzroy st cleft itself in twain beneath my feat that day. Revelation always strikes when you least expect it, and often when suffering from a particularly bad case of gout . Loaded though this muffin was with its constituent bits (carrot, apple, walnuts) it seemed out of place in a humble st. kildan bakehouse. But who am I to question the universe when it reaches out and taps me on the shoulder with a crumbly top and a moist centre like a whisper?
One day I’ll tell you about the Agadir-muffin debacle of 92. Till then, enjoy these.

ingredients

300g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

2tsp ground cinnamon

pinch salt

4 free range eggs

160ml sunflower/vegetable oil (i used 100ml oil and 60ml orange juice. because i can)

200g brown sugar

80g caster sugar

vanilla (vast amounts)

220g peeled grated carrot

200g granny smith

100g grated zucchini

100g walnuts

100g saltanas


preheat oven to 170 degrees. grease a muffin tray. but first get all your ingredients together, and realise you dont actually have said muffin tray and do swearing, see your life and your failures flash before your eyes and then run for your sad little life back to the shop from whence you came for a new fresh muffin tray. then, back to the grating task at hand.


sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix. then whisk eggs, oil, sugars and vanillas with the grated apple, carrot and zucchini. fold in the walnuts and sultanas and finally the sifted flour mix.


spoon mix into the greased tins and bake for 25 minutes.

this post was adapted by spoon after spoon and is a dedicae for snow who is possibly the greatest muffin lover and maker i know.